William Ellis is a charming fella and a richly talented music photographer with a project that completely resonated with me. Hailing from Cheshire from across the pond and in town a few years back, we met at a photo-centric event where I learned of his One LP project. The concept is simple and expressive. Chat with artists, musicians, photographers and luthiers about the one album that moved them and shaped their creative vision like no other, then take their portrait with said musical work in hand. Back in the day when some of us proudly displayed our recordings for all to peruse, I was that guy – a serial profiler of character who’d scan a collection and pass judgment. Yup, right up my alley. But in all seriousness, choosing one album, one collective work, that is so powerful as to hit you over the head and change your life, and then creating a visual record of the artist and that work, is just too good a subject. So, I was tickled when William wanted to include me and get a sit down. Flash forward a couple of years, and with the help of our mutual friend, jazz photographer Bob Barry, this happened. Early on a Saturday morning (okay, early for me) on the day William was flying back home, I rolled up to Bob’s place, sat down in the shady courtyard and William let the recording fly. I had been listening to Fillmore East the day before and on the way over to the shoot, as I’m wont to do every few months. And even though each note and riff is etched into me, it still burns fresh. My words were all over the place, but if you check it out, you’ll know. Photographers can be great subjects or can ironically shrink from the camera, and I was probably somewhere in the middle. The courtyard provided a warm and neutral backdrop and William, working with a Canon 5D Mark IV and a 16-35 had at it, and came away with a shot that gets me (despite some stiffness on my part). The album I’m holding was purchased in the early ‘70s and saw so many turns that the covers split and are held together with masking tape. That I’m included in a project alongside an ever expanding roster of jazz, blues and rock greats such as Ron Carter, Christian Scott atunde Adjuah, Graham Nash, Jack Bruce, John Mayall, Kenny Burrell, and photographers Bob Gruen, Lynn Goldsmith and Bob Barry, to name a but a few among so many in a long list of folks that have found their way to William’s lens, well, it’s just off the hook. Thank you William for placing me in such good company.

The One LP project

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